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Retire Get real

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WASHINGTON (5/11/09)--The majority of workers remain confident they will be able to live comfortably in retirement, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, says the latest research. Consider these numbers from the 2009 Retirement Confidence Survey released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc. (April):
* Three of four workers report that they and/or their spouses have saved for retirement. About half (54%) of workers believe that they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement. A similar percentage (53%) reports retirement savings--not counting home values and defined benefit plans, if any--of less than $25,000. * About one of three workers (31%) who have not saved for retirement is confident about a comfortable retirement. * Three of four workers who have saved expect to need jobs in retirement to make ends meet.
Because so many pre-retirees seem to think they’ll have the same standard of living in retirement with savings of less than one year’s current income--or no savings at all--experts recommend that all workers make a realistic effort to become “retirement ready” by taking these first steps today:
* Track expenses, and evaluate whether those expenses will continue in retirement; * Create a budget for your current situation; * Determine current net worth; * Get an estimate of pension or 401(k) income possibilities, and determine when you are eligible for retirement; * Get an estimate of your Social Security benefits from ssa.gov or call 800-772-1213; * Determine whom you'll be providing for in retirement, and plan for long-term care for any dependents; * Calculate your life expectancy; and * Set a retirement savings goal and make a plan to reach it.